Archive for June, 2012
Choosing a career path isn’t easy for everyone. Sometimes a student’s passion for a subject clearly sets them down the road to becoming a doctor or a teacher for example, but for some identifying what type of work they ultimately want to do is an ambiguous task.
The following activity from Winning Futures’ “Achieving Success” workbook was just performed by students at Detroit’s University Prep High School to stimulate discussion on determining what they want in a career. Try it with your students or mentees:
Tell the students that they are going to take a survey about options in a career. Let them know that to answer the questions in the survey, they will stand up if they like the first option or stay seated if they prefer the second option. Tell the students that they should choose the answer that most reflects who they are. Encourage them not to let their decisions be influenced by their peers.
Would you rather…
1. Be the president of the student council (stand up) or be a member of it (sit down)?
2. Have the same two or three tasks every day (stand up) or have different tasks everyday (sit down)?
3. Attend a concert or put on a concert?
4. Work inside an office or work outside at a job site?
5. Manage a group of people or only be responsible for yourself?
6. Discover the cure for a disease or be the doctor who uses the cure?
7. Be a senator and make laws or be a police officer who enforces them?
8. Work with a large group of people or work by yourself?
9. Read a report or make a presentation?
10. Start your own business or work for someone else?
11. Sing, dance, or play an instrument or be in the audience?
12. Create your own web site or explore other people’s site?
13. Make important discoveries or teach about discoveries that others have made?
14. Work with machines or work with people?
Following the activity, discuss with the group what this game has taught them about themselves. Questions that may motivate discussion are: How can knowing these answers help you make a career decision? If the job you pick makes you a great deal of money, but is the opposite of your work preferences, how could that affect you? What are the things you definitely would NOT want in a job? What are the things you definitely WANT in a job? Understanding what your preferences are will help your students decide on a career.
Many lessons like these that you can implement in your own classrooms and youth programs are outlined in Winning Futures’ “Achieving Success” workbook. Click on the “Purchase Books” button at left to learn more.
A great way to have mentees and students take ownership of their talents and strengths and to explore their values is to create a “Strengths and Talents Collage.” This fun and easy activity gives mentors, teachers and students a creative, hands-on activity to take part in collaboratively. All that’s needed is some poster board, scissors, glue sticks, a stack of old magazines and some creativity!
Here’s how the activity works:
1. Work with student teams of three or four (or, if wanted, individual students) to create lists of students’ personality traits, strengths and talents.
2. Give each student team a poster board, scissors, glue sticks and magazines.
3. Help students find images, words and other content that reflect or symbolize items on their lists to include on the poster board.
4. Each team will then take their chosen content and create a team collage by gluing the magazine cutouts onto the poster board.
When done, invite each team to stand and share with others the content of their poster and the significance of each of the items on it. These can be displayed in your classroom throughout the year and even added to or modified as the school-year progresses to reflect each team-members’ personal growth!
Many more lessons like these are outlined in Winning Futures’ “Achieving Success” workbook. Click on the “Purchase Books” button at left to learn more.
Winning Futures students at Pierce Elementary in Birmingham, Michigan recently took part in a unique activity that demonstrates the importance of – and techniques for – planning. This fun exercise is one you can use in your own classroom or youth group and it aligns nicely with the Winning Futures “Road to Success” goal-setting curriculum and workbook lessons.
• Mentors pretend to be an alien from outer space who has recently arrived on the planet Earth. Because mentors are aliens, they have not figured out how humans do certain things. The aliens back on the home planet have asked “Mentor Aliens” to write down how humans do things so they can learn more about the human race. To do this, “Mentor Aliens” ask the students for help.
• Without any help from the “Mentor Aliens,” students work as a team to write step-by-step directions on how to color a picture.
• Students then read the directions to the “Mentor Aliens.” The purpose of this exercise is to show that planning and details are important in the goal setting process. To have fun with it, “Mentor Aliens” need to follow the steps exactly as they are read to them! For example if students say “pick up the crayon,” – but they never told you HOW to pick up the crayon… with your hand, your mouth, your elbow – “Mentor Aliens” can pick up their crayon in any number of crazy ways! The students will realize that their steps may not be as clear as they need to be and that they should rewrite their plan to be more specific.
• “Mentor Aliens” continue asking what to do next until the student has dictated complete directions. “Mentor Aliens” should ask questions that help the student elaborate on his/her explanation, such as “Where do I get that?” or “Do I have to do anything before I can do that?”
Try using this lesson to show students how proper planning and making specific goals are important for achieving successful outcomes. Many more lessons like these are outlined in Winning Futures’ “Road to Success” workbook. Click on the “Purchase Books” button at left to learn more.